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Wednesday, December 16th, 2009 at 9:01 am  |  32 responses

Post Up: Return of T-Mac

And the Suns roll.

by Holly MacKenzie / @stackmack

How did the Raptors defeat Houston this past Saturday? Watching both teams in action last night, I’m not sure I’ve got an answer to that besides the Rockets having an awful off day.

Before we get any further, my goodness, can you feel the excitement that is rippling through the basketball world as a result of Tracy McGrady returning to the hardwood last night? Yeah, I thought so.

While the Rockets defeated Detroit 107-96, the Raptors lost by 20 to the Heat. It was bad. Not just bad, damn ugly.

More importantly than the Raptors struggles, though, T-Mac was back. Crazy, when you consider Adelman had said playing McGrady would not be an option for them earlier that day. In the end it was an option, he suited up and got into the game in the first quarter. He looked rusted, but he hit a three-pointer, missed some free throws and had a nice ovation from the home crowd. Aaron Brooks and Luis Scola each scored 23 points with Brooks also adding 10 assists. Our boy Hursty has told me I need to mention the Brooks to Budinger alley-oop…. I didn’t see it, but it sounds like it’s an oop that didn’t quite happen?

Fill us in, Hursty!

In Miami, the Raptors were dreadful, getting eaten up inside as Michael Beasley had himself a ballgame, finishing with 28 points and 11 rebounds while Chris Bosh had 28 himself, but just two rebounds. For all of the people who were ready to trash Jose Calderon and start Jarrett Jack, really? I’m a huge Jack fan, as a player and also as a person, but Calderon is stability. Defensively, he’s a definite liability, but on the offensive end, he knows how to settle things down, get guys the ball where they need it to excell and do it without turning the ball over.

I love the jolt of energy and aggressive play of Jack, but I really prefer having Jose to bring into the game when the Raptors need to be calmed down.

Tracy McGrady played last night. I still can’t believe that. I wonder how many All-Star votes he’ll receive today.

My personal favorite quote of the night:

I had attitude. I’ve still got attitude. I think it’s been long enough for me playing average. I’m just kind of mad at myself for not stepping out of the box. I’m kind of angry right now.” – Michael Beasley

I’m not a fan of the latest hairstyle he’s rocking but I am a fan of this attitude. I hope he keeps up the aggressive play. I also hope Mario Chalmers learns to be on time for team functions. Because he was late to shootaround, he came off of the bench for the first time in his NBA career. Crazy.

The Cavs defeated the Nets by 10, dropping New Jersey to 2-23 on the season. Devin Harris was ejected from this one after he was called for the flagrant-2 on Jamario Moon, trying to prevent him from getting the easy hoop and almost taking his head off in the process. Now, I do not think Harris was trying to be dirty, but I do think guys need to know they can’t be grabbing opponents around the neck/head. It’s too dangerous. I think the suspension was the right call.

I don’t really think LeBron running to the rescue and wrapping Harris up was a smart play. Even with the best intentions, that could have started a fight of it’s own, if Harris didn’t realize Bron was just trying to make sure nothing happened after the play.

In other Nets news, Brook Lopez continues to be solid.

Oh, and Bron-watch: 23/6/7

Kobe-watch: 42 points. He had eight turnovers and he missed four free throws, but he was there to help his team get over their early struggles against the Bulls. With a broken hand. I get so many messages and emails, tweets and various other forms of communication of people proclaiming their love for Kobe or LeBron and telling me exactly why their guy is the best.

You all know who my “best player in the NBA” is, but can we all just stop for a moment and enjoy the sweetness that is watching each of these guys do their thing on the court?

The Lakers looked lame-o against the Bulls through three. Phil looked like he was going to snap on someone.

Don’t look now, but the Bobcats are currently sitting at 10-13. Almost at .500, baby. Last night they found themselves in a really close one with the Knicks (who had Jonathan Bender in a suit on the bench), but they pushed through and got the victory behind 21 and eight from GWall while Tyson Chandler pulled down 12 boards and my boy Stack Jack scored 24, but needed 22 shots to do it.

Suns rollling. 116-104 victory over the Spurs and they are 17-8 on the year. Loved every one of the 13 assists Nash had to go with his 25 points and Amar’e's 28 and 14 to go with three steals were nice, too. It just feels really nice when the Suns win against San Antonio at home, doesn’t it? It’s like a little bit of payback for that damn playoff series that I’m sure so many of their fans still can’t quite let go of.

Oh… 34, 14  and three blocked shots for TD in the loss. Again, lucky. That’s what we are. So many special players in this league right now. So happy they are still here.

The Kings lost to the Blazers in Portland last night, but they couldn’t have asked for much more from their rookie, except, perhaps more shooting. Evans finished with 19 points and shot 7-for-9 from from the floor with one of those misses coming on a three-point heave at the end of the shot clock. Guy was feeling it. He’s really fun to watch. I had said a few weeks ago that I hadn’t caught much of him yet this season. I made it a point to and am really, really glad I did because I would have hated finding out how talented he is in March or April when I’d already missed so much of his rookie season.

Have I mentioned how much I love rookies?

Can you blame me? With everyone calling this class weak, I think it’s proving to have a lot more talent than most were ready to believe. It makes me happy, I can tell you that.

Also, Bayless was awesome for Portland down the stretch. I’ve been rooting for him to get more playing time, so that really made my night.

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  • jumpman3224

    First…its wierd seeing T-Mac rocking #3. Also 42 with a broken finger? Didnt he have a different finger issue that he played through on his wasy to the MVP two seasons ago?

  • jumpman3224

    way*

  • http://www.mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    Wow T-Mac looks Raptors thin on that picture. Look at those matchsticks he has for legs! The Rockets are doing the right thing by easing him back in. He’ll be grateful for it once he gets into midseason form without any setbacks as a result of coming back too fast (again). As cool as it is to see AI logging this many minutes, it’ll probably hurt him later on this season.

  • Vish

    Kobe is one of the toughest players to lace ‘em up….

  • http://www.slamonline.com Wayno

    Welcome back T-mac! I’d love to see him do well again.

  • Hussman25

    @Hisham: I was just thinking the same thing about Mac’s Legs… No wonder Y he has the injuries to his legs/knees; he got chopstick legs…. He couldnt add muscle to help protect and stabalize those expensive knees of his???? Nice to see him back tho!
    Kobe is not human; him playing with 8 fingers, makin the Bulls look silly means 2 things. 1. Kobe feels no pain and 2. Vinny Del Negro HAS 2 GO!

  • max

    @ holly i think this is what hursty is talking about
    http://www.nba.com/games/20091215/DETHOU/gameinfo.html?ls=gt2hp0020900355 its one of the three videos on the right

  • http://www.mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    Holly has a subtle way of sharing her love for rookies

  • http://slamonline.com Holly MacKenzie

    Aside from watching history happen and stars be super, rookies are the best part of the game in my opinion. Fresh love, new experiences, dreams coming true? It’s so exciting. I love living the excitement with them! Thanks for the link, max.

  • http://www.mynameinblue.blogspot.com Hisham

    Loving the passion, Holly!

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    Raptors.. I don’t even know anymore.. Why couldn’t I live in a city with a better basketball team! lol j/k
    But I guess I have to admit I’m one of the people who wished Jarret Jack started over Calderon. Calderon’s stats are nice and all, but I cringe everytime someone blows by him. It seems like every other team’s point guards whether starter or bench player is able to get by him with ease.

  • http://mbenga-mblog.blogspot.com rish

    I just want to point that Aaron Brooks is good. Very good. I had no idea he would be this good. Did anyone?

  • http://mbenga-mblog.blogspot.com rish

    I would like to see Jose come off the bench. If we need to put him in with the starters we can. But Jose can facilitate our bench to play a little better together. Speaking of which, what happened to Marco?? He’s fallen far off the map. Earlier I was making a case for him to start over DD.. now it seems like he doesn’t even deserve bench minutes.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Cheryl

    One of our local writers suggested that the Heat could get TMac and Scola for JO’neal and Daequan Cook. I would take that in a minute. He also suggested a move for Steve Blake, but we’ll see.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Kobe had the flu too.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Broken hand, Holly? You mean broken finger, right?

  • RV

    rish, he’s been this good since last year’s playoffs

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Jarret Jack is better than Calderon at this point, or he soon will be. And I like Jose.

  • bbballboi1337

    to Teddy the Bear:
    Jack Johnson>bbballl.

  • http://myspace.com/brandnew Bryan

    Tad to be fair he has like 2 broken fingers haha.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    Anyway, i’m glad to see TMac back. Too bad he’ll be traded in about a month.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Cheryl
    If Houston makes that trade, somebody in their organization needs to be shot.

  • riggs

    anyone saw the beasley steal and oop play last night? why the fruck cant he do that everyyynight

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    TMac’s 1st game back and already he has hundreds of thousands of All Star votes. The fans have spoken.

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    T-Mac is just such a cool guy, I really root for him everytime I hear him talk, the way he thanked the crowd in a locker room interview. The guy is all class. I hope he pulls a Bernard King and comes back to lead the NBA in scoring again.

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    Also, two reasons why I like Lebron obliterating Harris:
    1) From his angle, as well as just about 75% of camera angles, it looked like a dirty play. It looked like Harris took Jamario DOWN. Lebron couldn’t see the play in ten different angles before he made his decision. If I get taken down, I want my team to come running to my aid. Lebron AND Shaq did that. Good for them.
    2) The Cavaliers, at times, have Lebron, Shaq, and Ilgauskas on the floor. Those are, probably, the three players I’d least want to get into a fight with under any circumstances. WHen you have guys that look like that, run with the image– don’t be soft. If someone hurts your dude, you will have Leboom, the diesel, and Big Z choking your @$$. People wont be so quick to give a hard foul anymore.
    Also, I can’t believe how teams just sort of cower when confronted by the Celtics. Glen Davis and Perkins did it last year, and pretty much the entire Nets roster did it this time. Hassel looked like he was begging Lebron to let Harris go. In fairness, I don’t blame them.

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    I think Harris was more frustrated, and it even looks like he tried to help up Jamario before being tackled by LeBron. The ejection saved his life case Shaq would have laid his ass out if Harris stayed on the floor like he did with DeShawn.

  • http://dsjfhklf.com Jukai

    Over under on how many people are gonna fawnnnn over Kobe’s game winner compared to how many people are going to cry over his bailout foul call?

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    Wow, my bad for missing the post-up. I’ve been out for the whole day.
    Chase’s alley-oop wasn’t all that spectacular, but it was a sort of reward for putting in so much effort that game. Hustling, hitting open looks, pull-up jumpers and rebounding like crazy.
    Kid played 40 minutes. 36 straight after he came back for T-mac. Great to have Tracy on the court again, another weapon to utilise.

  • http://slamonline.com Spaceship Jay

    If it were up to me, I’d probably erase the offensive foul all together… Be men NBA players. Block the shot, strip the ball, or get out of the way.

  • http://www.broy7.com nate the great

    oh yeah, kobe is so tough! man, i deffinitly cant play with broken finger or fingers! shesh!

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